I took the wife and kids (both under 4) to Little Italy Pizzeria in downtown Athens last night. As we walked toward the restaurant from our parked car, I saw and heard a very large parade coming toward us on the sidewalk. I knew what it was right away. The American flags and the Spanish chanting gave it away. I maneuvered my way through the crowd into Little Italy with my one year old in my arms.
It was a peaceful demonstration, but it didn’t go down well with me. I kept thinking that this was something in the nature of a demonstration of power in numbers — a steel fist in a velvet glove, a loudly whispered “Don’t tread on us.”
My wife works in an indigent clinic in Athens and speaks Spanish. She basically provides free medical care to illegal immigrants for a living. She’s not very political and didn’t know the purpose of the rally. When she finally came in the restaurant she was smiling and said, “Those are my people!”
When I explained the point of the rally, she was a little less happy. It was her natural sense that there is something not quite right about illegal immigrants demanding that the host country do nothing to secure the borders or regulate the citizenship process, especially when they receive things like free medical care.
That natural sense is right. America should be generous, but not because she is intimidated.